Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


2019 Vol 12 Issue 64

Sarieva I.R. Political self-efficacy: theoretical approaches and contemporary research

Full text in Russian: Сариева И.Р. Политическая самоэффективность: теоретические подходы и актуальные исследования

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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This article is a systematic review of relevant research on the study of political self-efficacy. The paper describes the theoretical prerequisites for the emergence of the construct, the basic definitions and classifications, the origins of political self-efficacy and its consequences at the behavioral level. Political self-efficacy is a special case of self-efficacy in the political sphere and is based on A. Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy. Modern researchers distinguish between three main types of PSE: internal (individual), collective (group) and external. Internal PSE is understood as a belief in one’s ability to influence events in a country, collective PSE - as a belief in one’s group’s ability to influence events in a country. External PSE, in turn, is the perception of how responsive the state and the socio-political system are to the actions of an individual or group.
The study of PSE is an important and promising area in social science. Significant attention is paid to the factors of the formation and change of PSE. These include, among others, the conditions of political socialization, the socio-economic conditions and the political system, as well as media consumption. A substantial body of research has also been accumulated on the relationship between the level of PSE and various individual and social characteristics, including demographic factors and the economic situation.
Most approaches to the study of PSE are aimed at analyzing its links with various forms of political behavior. Studies show that internal, collective and external PSE are differently related to normative (e.g., voting) and non-normative (e.g., protests) forms of political activity. The further study of the connection of PSE with new and specific forms of political behavior, such as political activity on the Internet, remains a promising field of study. An important task is to conduct research on new samples particularly in post-Soviet countries, as well as to conduct further experimental research.

Keywords: self-efficacy, political self-efficacy, collective self-efficacy, external self-efficacy, political participation


I would like to express my gratitude to my senior colleagues Olga Gulevich and Elena Agadullina for their invaluable feedback that helped improve this article considerably.


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Received 02 December 2019. Date of publication: 26 December 2019.

About author

Sarieva Irena Remaevna. Senior lecturer, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Myasnitskaya st., 20, 101000, Moscow, Russia.
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Suggested citation

Sarieva I.R. Political self-efficacy: theoretical approaches and contemporary research. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2019, Vol. 12, No. 64, p. 6. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

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